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Topic: Names you don't know how to pronounce!

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Subject: Names you don't know how to pronounce!
Date Posted: 11/10/2008 12:55 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2008
Posts: 311
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Maybe it's just me, but do y'all ever get hung up on H/H names that you can't figure out how to pronounce?  Most of the time, I'll come up with my own version and stick to it throughout the book, but sometimes that doesn't work.   I'll keep reinventing/changing it as I read along because nothing seems to fit - it's distracting!  I read Lora Leigh's Nauti Dreams recently and had the hardest time with the heroine's name ("Chaya").  For two thirds of the book, I kept going back and forth between shy-a, shay-a, chy-a, chay-a, ky-a and kay-a.  I finally (sort of) settled on Shay. 

The funny thing is that I don't have too many problems with the crazy names in the PNR's and futuristic/sci-fi books out there nowadays.  Not because I know how to pronounce them, but because I give up right away.  I know it's hopeless, so I just make up whatever I think is close enough and there you go.  It's those little names that seem like they should be so obvious that drive me nuts.   Like Zhex from JR Ward's books.  Every time I see that name, I read it as Zex, not Sex (like I'm assuming it should be). 

Does this happen to y'all too, or is it just me?

 

 

Date Posted: 11/10/2008 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Been there, done that:P  Historicals can be just as bad sometimes.  I thought that nonsense had died out when regencies came along and "historical accuracy" sort of killed off some of the weird unpronounceable names:P  Not so...  I will usually make a best guess, and then invariably run across some shortened nickname version used later in the book that totally blows my guess out of the water:P

Date Posted: 11/10/2008 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,749
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i mostly stick with whatever pronunciation comes into my head first.  sometimes (like last night) i'll realize halfway through that i've completely swapped the order of some of the characters (so i've been thinking Nasdua and it's spelled Nasuada).  usually i just keep on using my wrong pronunciation in my head anyway just for consistency.

Date Posted: 11/10/2008 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
Posts: 989
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For the longest time i could never figure out how to pronounce the name Siohban ( i hope i spelled that right?) until i saw a t.v. show  and heard them pronounce it as Shay-Von.

Date Posted: 11/10/2008 7:12 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2005
Posts: 14,915
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I have a hard time prounouncing Scottish or Irish words, so I like listening to those kinds of books on CD.  For example, I would have never been able to pronounce any of the Scottish words in the Outlander series, so I had to listen to them on CD.  :)

Date Posted: 11/10/2008 8:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2008
Posts: 311
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"For the longest time i could never figure out how to pronounce the name Siohban ( i hope i spelled that right?) until i saw a t.v. show  and heard them pronounce it as Shay-Von."

Thank you! I've never known how to pronounce that one!  By the way, I love that you have Sam Elliot in your signature.  I've always had a thing for him and that yummy voice of his  :D

Date Posted: 11/10/2008 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I've been reading Janet Chapman's Highlander books and it's bugging the crap out of me that I know I'm not pronouncing some of these names right...actually the people names I'm pretty sure I am but the gaelic names I'm not.

Date Posted: 11/11/2008 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2005
Posts: 467
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Know exactly what you are saying. I have a whole list somewhere that I have had trouble pronouncing. By the time I find the correct pronunciation I have the wrong one in my head already and don't want to switch.

Date Posted: 11/11/2008 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I still don't know how to pronouce "Padraig"-if I"m even spelling it right.  Is it prounounced like it sounds? Or is it one of those Gailic names that sounds nothing like it's spelled? 

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 1:49 AM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2008
Posts: 311
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"I still don't know how to pronouce "Padraig"-if I"m even spelling it right."

I've actually heard that one before!   There's a golfer named Padraig Harrington (husband watches a lot of golf - snore).  I think he's from Ireland.  The British announcers always pronounce it pah-drig (as in say "ahhhh"), while the Americans say pa-drig (with a short "a" like in cat).  

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 65
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Okay, I am really beginning to believe that I'm in the minority here.

Why do you need to know how a name in a book is pronounced, other than just being a neat thing to know? Does everyone else really "hear" what they are reading? I can, if I slow myself down, but most of the time when I am reading I just see the words. I really thought everyone read that way, until a conversation with my husband. He "hears" also. I read faster, and grab things in chunks. On the down side, things like the poetry and songs in Tolkien's work are difficult for me, I have to really slow down and actually say them to get the full effect, but DH seems to get them naturally at the same speed he normally reads. I love listening to them on tape, but resent them when reading because they slow me down so very much! Also on the down side, I find I do mispronounce words I use in writing if I actually have to speak them in conversation!

On a tangent, I wonder if this is why I find that some books just do NOT translate to audio format very well? An example is Kate Mosse's Labyrinth. Great read, but it just doesn't work on audio for me.

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2008
Posts: 5,126
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I'm with Christina...once it's in my head, it's there forever, I won't change it. Scenes are the same, too. If another book is out by the same author in the same town or city or whatever, I can't change the scenery either. It's kind of annoying. I've pronounced Acheron with a K (Akeron) when all along it was ASHeron. Can't fix it now.

Date Posted: 11/14/2008 9:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2005
Posts: 467
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I have read 2 books with the main guy's name being Thierry (both paranormal books by the way) and half the time I pronounce it as if I am saying thee-ry and the other half I say thay-ree. I just don't know which way to go with that one. It seems more and more the paranormal genre comes up with harder and harder names to pronounce. Does it matter? Probably not but it bugs me nutty.